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Police guidance on new regulations after banning of XL bullies

Greater Manchester Police has issued guidance to owners of XL bully dogs after hundreds of owners have failed to follow the new rules surrounding the banned breed, which has been responsible for several deaths in the past year.

A police spokesman said: "Nationally there have been numerous shocking incidents that have caused considerable concern in our communities, in relation to the danger out of control dogs pose. The UK government has now passed legislation in support of action being taken.

"The aim of this legislation is to encourage responsible ownership, ensuring dog control issues are addressed before they escalate.

"Owners who let their dogs terrorise people or other animals are already breaking the law, with several powers available to police and partner agencies to impose penalties on irresponsible owners. These can lead to the dog being either rehomed or euthanised and owners facing a custodial sentence.

"However, given the significant rise in XL bully-related attacks and breeding practices linked to organised criminality, the XL bully breed has now been formally banned by the UK government.

From December 31, 2023, the first stage of the XL bully ban came into force and the breed was added to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

It is now an offence to:

  • Sell an XL bully dog.
  • Abandon an XL bully dog or let it stray.
  • Give away an XL bully dog.
  • Breed from an XL bully dog.
  • Have an XL bully in public without a lead and muzzle.

From today (February 1), the second stage of the XL bully ban came in to effect. It is now a criminal offence to own an XL bully dog in England and Wales unless your dog has a Certificate of Exemption, third-party insurance, with the dog muzzled and on a lead in a public place at all times. If you fail to comply, police may have the power to seize it.

Further advice on owning XL bullies from the government can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/xl-bully-dogs

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